Monday, November 16, 2009
One of the most incredible scientific discoveries in my lifetime occurred this week.
There is water on the moon!
Recently, NASA plummeted a capsule into the moon's surface at 3500 miles an hour to create an explosive plume that could be analyzed. They had hoped to find a few teaspoons worth of water in that plume.
Instead they found 24 gallons!
That there is water on the moon changes the future of our manned spaced program and our vision for exploration (and colonization)of the solar system. Water means not only drinking water that doesn't need to be hauled to the moon (prohibitively expensive) but oxygen and fuel from the hydrogen.
Now its up to the Obama administration to step up to the plate. A recent review by the administration says that a planned return to the moon by 2020 was "unrealistic" given the additional need for funds. The panel determined that NASA is currently underfunded 3 billion a year to reach that goal.
I usually rail against government spending but this is one area that I say we need to open the checkbooks. Time to pony up!
In the words of my favorite quote from The Right Stuff:
"No bucks? No Buck Rogers"
Sunday, November 8, 2009
In George Orwell's 1984, the protagonist, Winston Smith, is captured and tortured by the State towards the end of the story. As part of his re-education he is shown 4 lights and is asked how many lights he sees. "I see four lights" he responds.
Wrong! He is told he MUST see five lights. Over time he is conditioned so that he finally sees five lights. Its not enough that he says there are five lights, he has to see and believe it to be true.
Watching TV lately I have come to feel more and more like Winston Smith all the time. I feel I am being conditioned to believe something to be true that I know is not.
Today Tammy and I were watching a new TV series we have started to enjoy called Flash Forward. If you haven't seen it, it's about what happens when the whole world blacks out for a couple minutes and everyone experiences a premonition of the future. In a nutshell, its been pretty cool.
Today one of the characters, who is a lesbian, has a date with another lady. OK, we think, "This is the 2000's" its something we have to endure occasionally. Then one of them starts talking about doing a "three way" with Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin. I start thinking, "Are you kidding me" This is not a rented movie, or even cable...this is network TV that my 11 year old son watches with me. Then both girls go back to one of the girl's places where they begin to seriously "go for each other". Wow!! Lesbians making out.
What used to be restricted to the back aisle porn section of the video store is now front and center on network TV. Would someone explain how we went in fifty years from Lucy and Ricky sharing separate beds and not being able to say the word "pregnant" over the air to lesbian sex?
And then I realized they won't do this yet with guys yet because its still to creepy but girls...thats a little more palatable. Ten years ago this would never have been allowed...ten years from now? Mmmmmm
I'm being conditioned!
I know something is wrong, but they are telling me its right. I know there are four lights but they are going to keep at me until I see five. Its not enough that I say there are five lights, I have to believe it!
But they won't get me and you know why?
Because I see four lights!
Friday, November 6, 2009
“The rumors of my demise are greatly exaggerated” said a witty Mark Twain more than a century ago. Perhaps the same could be said of the Republican Party.
Last night’s GOP victories for the Governorships of New Jersey and Virginia were a major setback for the Obama administration. The President carried both New Jersey and Virginia in his victory last year and personally made trips to New Jersey to campaign for the Democratic incumbent Joe Corzine but it was not enough to for Republican long shot Chris Christie to take the victory by an amazing 4 percentage points. What’s even more stunning is that Corzine outspent Christie by a 2-1 margin. For a Republican to take New Jersey is HUGE for the GOP.
Likewise in Virginia, Republican Bob McDonnell defeated Democrat Creigh Deeds in a closely watched race for the Governor spot there. What is most worrying for the Democrats in 2010 though is the swing in voting habits for voters claiming to be independents.
In New Jersey, the Republican candidate took the Independent vote by 27% over the Democrat incumbent. Likewise, in Virginia, the Republicans won Independents by a 62% to 37% margin. This bodes well for the Republicans as Obama hands down won Independent voters in his 2008 victory.
Now last year people were talking about the demise of the Republican Party; that it was destined to become a regional southern party. I was always doubtful of this. True, the Republican Party was acting, speaking, and portraying themselves in a way that was completely embarrassing to many in our party and much of our defeat was self inflicted. But at the end of the day, Americans are inherently minimalists when it comes to government involvement in their lives and I knew that once the Dems were in power, taxes started going up, and Washington began telling us what to do and how to do it, the scales would begin to balance itself again.
Then there is New York’s 23 Congressional District. A solid Republican stronghold that could only have been lost once Sarah Palin got involved. Not that she should be blamed alone; but the Republican revival would be faster, stronger, and more palatable to the average American if she would confine her activities to the fringes of civilization.
Another surprise was the voter's of Maine overturning a homosexual marriage policy passed by their legislature earlier this year. This was viewed as a major setback for the homosexual rights lobby as Maine is one of the most liberal minded states in the Union. Homosexuality is much hipper in America these days... but apparently not hip enough.
All of this bodes well for the Republicans but they are far from out of the woods yet. We still lack a Statesman who can articulately state a vision from America that can inspire the average American. Their gains two days ago were more the result of Democratic disgust than Republican trust.
But Democratic disgust may be a pretty good place to start...